It's hard to say that this was my favorite book of the series, because, truthfully, whatever book I was reading at the time was my favorite. I will sa...moreIt's hard to say that this was my favorite book of the series, because, truthfully, whatever book I was reading at the time was my favorite. I will say that this book was the most moving of the three, the most deeply touching, the one that made me cry the most. Felton is a classic character for me, one that will stay with me always. Andrew as well. I thought the author did an amazing job of continually surprising me plot-wise, to the point that I didn't see coming all of the inevitable things that happened. And at the same time, what will stay with me most are the messages of this book, the messages about how to live, and what life is about. I don't want to say more because I don't want to spoil it. Read this book! Read this series in order, and end with this book! You'll be glad you did.(less)
It's hard for me to put into words my feeling about this book. But since I'm a writer, I suppose I ought to try.
I have been a fan of David's work for...moreIt's hard for me to put into words my feeling about this book. But since I'm a writer, I suppose I ought to try.
I have been a fan of David's work for a while now. I have been awed by his ability to churn out impressive novel after novel and to cover so much unique ground in such a relatively short time. But this novel is really a game-changer. I mean that both for David's career and for LGBTQ literature in general.
Even though I am a YA author, I really reacted to this book as a gay man who is 42, who grew up amid the AIDS crisis in New York. To have those feelings brought back and juxtaposed with the relative hope of this new generation was exceedingly powerful to me. I found myself sobbing reading this book. I have not sobbed so much reading a book in -- ever? It's certainly been years at the very least. A few weeks ago, while at a writing conference in Portland, I spoke about the book during a seminar I was giving about LGBTQ lit and I started to tear up just talking about it.
There is so much beauty here in this prose. I am generally not a fan of "We" narratives, but for some reason this one didn't bother me in the least. I didn't find it jarring, and I didn't find it took me out of the narrative. Perhaps it's because I know this "We." This voice sounded authentic to me. I didn't doubt for a second the authority of the narrative, and that's not easy when the narrator is intended to be a Greek Chorus of dead folks.
I have been telling all my gay friends who are my age or older that they need to buy this book as soon as it comes out. I think it will strongly appeal to those of us who have lost so many friends and loved ones. I simply cannot answer the question of how a young gay person will respond to this book, but I'm so excited to find out!
Simply a game changer in the genre. To my relatively discerning eye, the finest gay YA novel ever.(less)
I was blown away by this memoir. There is humor and heart and pain and moments where I noticed that my jaw had actually, literally dropped. Without gi...moreI was blown away by this memoir. There is humor and heart and pain and moments where I noticed that my jaw had actually, literally dropped. Without giving anything away, I will say that there is a spanking scene in the later part of the book that left me absolutely stunned.
What I loved about this debut is that it is beautifully rendered from the standpoint of character creation. Aaron is extraordinarily generous to his characters, which is something that pleased me. Very often in books written about growing up in a religious family, the family members come across as stilted and wooden. Here, the mother and father are so full and complex and beautiful. Sometimes I wanted to shake them, and at other times I found myself wondering if they knew something I didn't. By the way, I was unable to read the mother without picturing Kristen Chenowith. For that that's worth.
This is a must read for teen readers who are interested in understanding the interplay of faith and LGBTQ issues. It's also a must read for older readers looking for the same thing. I simply have trouble imagining anyone walking away from this book not having felt a lot, and learned a lot from the experience. A classic.(less)